Art in corona times 64. Ton van Kints & André Kruysen, What’s on; Galerie Ramakers, The Hague

Ton van Kints

Galerie Ramakers presently shows works by Ton van Kints (1955) and André Kruysen (1967). In Villa La Repubblica i wrote an article about one of the sculptures on show by Kruysen, Click here to read the article (in Dutch).

André Kruysen
Ton van Kints

Kruysen shows new works.

André Kruysen
André Kruysen

As i’ve written quite extensively about one of the presented sculptures by Kruysen in VLR, i leave you here with some pictures of the other works on show.

André Kruysen
André Kruysen

For one reason or another the works by Kruysen fit very well with Van Kints’s.  

André Kruysen
Ton van Kints

Works by both artists show a craftsmanship with a kind of what-you-see-is-what-you-get mentality.

André Kruysen
André Kruysen

However, what you get are not just the materials but also the ideas and the individual characters of the works.

Ton van Kints
Ton van Kints

With both artists this creates a kind of tension between the pragmatism of their practice and the eloquence of the characters they create.

Ton van Kints
Ton van Kints

Van Kints shows the sequel to his so called 1+1 series in which he has piled up older works to make new ones. 

André Kruysen
André Kruysen

The way he piles them up differs per work, rendering new characters.

André Kruysen
André Kruysen, Ton van Kints

Sometimes they work as reliefs, sometimes they are more fully fledged pieces of sculpture.

Ton van Kints
Ton van Kints

In the sequel he has added bee-queen cells (which are usually built by bees on the lower edges of their combs), as Van Kints has become a keen beekeeper.

Ton van Kints, André Kruysen
Ton van Kints

This adds an interesting new element to the new series.

Ton van Kints
Ton van Kints

The combs are extremely small pieces of natural architecture.

Ton van Kints
Ton van Kints

As such they fit in very well with the works, at the same time they are a kind of foreign body, as if the works have been colonised.  

Ton van Kints
Ton van Kints

For those who find visiting galleries is still a bit risky under the present circumstances, i added a few more pictures than i would usually do.

Ton van Kints
André Kruysen

Still i recommend wholeheartedly to go and see these works for youself.

André Kruysen
André Kruysen

Click here to read the article about André Kruysen’s work in Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch)

André Kruysen

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Galerie Ramakers, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 63. Marcel Wesdorp, Wandering in a Digital Adventure; Galerie Helder, The Hague

With this monumental, vast turquoise print Marcel Wesdorp arguably made one of his most tender works so far.

He has turned one of the most merciless interventions of nature, crudely appropriated by man, into an almost hallucinating ocean of mystery and oblivion.

This one and other recent works by Wesdorp are presently on show along older works at Galerie Helder.

He leads the viewer from algorithmic landscapes to compositions made with satellite recordings.

A tireless seeker for the sublime, Wesdorp uses the most advanced digital means, where others would use these techniques only for rational data.

As such he combines the wonders of the world with the wonders of the mind.

It is a small show, but a good medicine against the narrow-mindedness of these days.

However, you have to hurry as next Saturday will be the last day of the exhibition.

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Marcel Wesdorp and Galerie Helder, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 62. Oskar Nilsson & Han Qin, Spirited Away; SinArts Gallery, The Hague

Oskar Nilsson

Swedish artist Oskar Nilsson used to make works drenched in death and the macabre.

Oskar Nilsson

It is as if somebody or something told him to cut it all, as now his works look like sweet dreams.

Oskar Nilsson

It is a matter of from being over the top on the dark side to being over the top on the sunny side.

Oskar Nilsson

What remains is a fairytale-like atmosphere where little white ghosts – apparently in love – sit on cut off tree trunks amid fragrant flowers bending in the wind.

Oskar Nilsson

It is all so sweet that it is almost too eerie in its own right.

Han Qin

At SinArts Gallery – in an exchange with Galerie With Tsjalling in Groningen – Nilsson’s work is coupled with works on paper by Han Qin, a Chinese artist living in France.

Han Qin

At first sight the works of the two artists go well together in their colourfulness.

Han Qin

However, Han Qin’s works appear to be more diverse both in what they look like and in their underlying meanings and emotions.

Han Qin

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists, SinArts Gallery, Den Haag and Galerie With Tsjalling, Groningen

Bertus Pieters

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Façades of The Hague #129

Southern entrance and exit of a tunnel (Koningstunnel), Rijnstraat.

The tunnel was opened in 2000 and runs along Centraal Station (Central Railway Station).

It was built as part of a solution against traffic jams in and around the small but crowded city centre and around the railway station.

It has been renovated in 2019, two years after these pictures were made.

It won’t be the end of the story though, as the whole area will be changed completely over the next few years.

In the mean time the iconic flower stall Henkie’s Hoekie (Harry’s Corner) is still going strong with romantic travellers.

© Villa Next Door 2021

All pictures were taken in March 2017.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #72 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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Art in corona times 61. Elsa Hartjesveld, Hans Ensink op Kemna, Paul van der Zande, Es malt! (It paints!); Stichting Ruimtevaart, The Hague

left: Hans Ensink op Kemna, right: Elsa Hartjesveld

In the central part of Ruimtevaart’s exhibition space Elsa Hartjesveld, Hans Ensink op Kemna and Paul van der Zande have made a painterly installation.

left: Paul van der Zande; centre: Elsa Hartjesveld; right: Hans Ensink op Kemna
left: Elsa Hartjesveld; right: Paul van der Zande

The installation is based on the circle (Hartjesveld), the triangle (Ensink op Kemna) and the square (Van der Zande).

left: Paul van der Zande; right: Elsa Hartjesveld
Paul van der Zande

As such the three painters show that one doesn’t always need objects to redefine space in a monumental way.

Hans Ensink op Kemna
Hans Ensink op Kemna

The interaction between the three volumes is quite significant.

Hans Ensink op Kemna
Elsa Hartjesveld
Elsa Hartjesveld

Being invited i was quite happy to see it all, as art spaces like Ruimtevaart are still closed due to the corona lockdown.

Elsa Hartjesveld
Elsa Hartjesveld

Like many shows this one has been prolonged and it is hoped for that it will be open to the public before short.

Paul van der Zande
Paul van der Zande

However, the present governmental restrictions are as unpredictable as the virus itself, so we have to keep our fingers crossed.

Elsa Hartjesveld
Paul van der Zande

Ensink op Kemna has recently had a solo exhibition in Delft, but seeing works by the other two artists is a bit of a rare event.

Paul van der Zande
Hans Ensink op Kemna

Especially Van der Zande’s works are rarely seen and this exhibition proves how unjust that is.

Hans Ensink op Kemna
Elsa Hartjesveld

For Hartjesveld – who shows a series of small works – this was a good opportunity to try her hand on abstract work on a more monumental scale.

Elsa Hartjesveld
Elsa Hartjesveld

There is also a wonderful dialogue between the three very individual styles.

Elsa Hartjesveld
Hans Ensink op Kemna

Hartjesveld, with her more or less intuitive kind of works, seems to open up the secret and unexpected space in between the straight lines of the works by Ensink op Kemna and Van der Zande.  

Paul van der Zande
Hans Ensink op Kemna

For artistic dialogue Ruimtevaart seems to have become a very special space, while it has also opened up its ‘spare room’ as a kind of introduction space.

Paul van der Zande

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Stichting Ruimtevaart, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 60. Katerina Sidorova & Wieske Wester, Gläserner Mensch (Glass Man); David Roth, Augensex (Eye Sex); Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Wieske Wester

Trying to find Katerina Sidorova’s (1991) inspiration for her work The Wall – which is currently presented as part of the duo exhibition with works by her and by Wieske Wester (1985) at Dürst Britt & Mayhew – i worked through all kinds of weapon porn (one could call it “un-gay porn”) on YouTube, but found it at last in a weaponry review site.

left: Wieske Wester (“Eric”); right: Katerina Sidorova
Katerina Sidorova

(Being an art historian brings you to the most improbable cavities of the human mind).

Katerina Sidorova

I was amazed, not just with the ingenuity of the anti-riot wall (which is Sidorova’s source of inspiration), but especially with the artistry of the demonstration video.

Katerina Sidorova

The Thunderbirds of a far-away-childhood wouldn’t stand a chance against such and all the other modern devises.

Wieske Wester
Wieske Wester (“Mea Culpa”)

These would crush any childhood dream and indeed any adult dream.

Katerina Sidorova

Sidorova’s reflections are even more dreamlike, but one could doubt if it is a happy dream.

Katerina Sidorova

It is clear the violence has stopped in one way or another, and her works stand and hang in silence.

Katerina Sidorova
Katerina Sidorova

They are tender, transparent, maybe smudged, even broken fragments of hope and pain.

Katerina Sidorova (“The Wall”)

As an ensemble they are very impressive in between Wester’s robust paintings. George Orwell’s famous novel Animal Farm (Wester’s source of inspiration) was published only two years before Kalashnikov – the namesake of the modern Russian weapon company responsible for the anti-riot wall – designed the AK 47 in the aftermath of World War II.

Katerina Sidorova (“The Wall”)

As you probably know, in George Orwell’s Animal Farm the farm animals rebel and seize power in order to create a fairer society.

Wieske Wester (“Mea Culpa”)
Wieske Wester

However, the pigs manage to be on top and run a dictatorship.

Wieske Wester

In Wester’s paintings the pigs become less aggressive.

Wieske Wester (“Arthur”)

And why not, as pigs can be, after all, quite disarming animals.

Wieske Wester (“Arthur”)
Wieske Wester (“Eric”)

With their pinkish complexion they even look a bit like white Europeans, they are as gluttonous, playful and pathetic as human kind.

Katerina Sidorova (“The Wall”)

With the painting Arthur however, there is a stark reminder of death, maybe inspired by the skull of Willingdon Beauty, the patriarch of the animals’ revolution.

left and right: Wieske Wester; centre: Katerina Sidorova

As a portrait bleaching in memory, George Orwell (in the painting Mea Culpa) looks at Sidorova’s Wall, while split characters of his real name (Eric Arthur Blair) look at each other, one alive and the other as dead as a dodo.

David Roth

The front gallery shows completely different work by David Roth (1985).

David Roth

Last year, during the first Covid-19 period, i wrote quite extensively about one of his works in Villa La Repubblica (click here to read it – in Dutch).

David Roth

In Sidorova’s and Wester’s works the materials play an important expressive role.

David Roth

One could say that is even more so in Roth’s paintings.

David Roth

His works are about many aspects of the act of painting itself, both technical and spiritual ones.

David Roth

Roth draws his inspiration from the work and the material itself.

David Roth

One could even say the paint and the painter inspire each other, as the title of the show implies – and with a firm wink – it is both a physical and mental love affair.

David Roth

My visit to both exhibitions was rather last-minute: this weekend will be your last chance to see it all in real.

David Roth

If you can, do so!

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Studio visit #9. Yaïr Callender

It was a grey day when i visited Yaïr Callender (1987) in his studio, in a seemingly forgotten suburb of The Hague near Broeksloot Canal.

Exactly the time and place not to be distracted by road signs, colourful advertising, cars and other visual noise, and to value the shapes and characters of things and objects, and to see how man and nature work on them.

Once it must have been part of human instinct to closely examine and read the environment, to literally see what it had to tell us and to inspire our imagination.

Somewhere in the history of seeing there must have been some sort of point where nature became culture in the perception of man.

When i arrived, Callender was working on a hexagon, sanding and judging its surface.

We discussed the point where a spot either remains just a spot or becomes something significant in its structure and colour. He also told me he likes the hexagon as a shape.

It has more possibilities than for instance the rather stable square or than the circle with its connotations with eternity etc.

Apart from natural processes Callender has a keen interest in the basic shapes of culture and how they personify human thinking. Clearly, making is a kind of thinking to Callender.

That is also a great difference with carpentry – the trade he is trying to earn a daily income with.

He likes the work itself but it is quite different from art in that it is – for all its aesthetics – purely practical.

Walking around in Callender’s studio one could easily get the idea that being an artist is a kind of romantic business where everything will shape itself if the artist is in the right mood.

Nothing could be further from the truth however, as Callender has to critically think and rethink his ideas while working and watching and also thinking about the practicalities of things.

Will the objects he is making have the right impact on the viewer, and how will they behave in the exhibition space?

And then there are the common everyday practicalities: how to organise your daily business such that you can give your art the dominant and professional place in life it needs. Well, the common story for any artist i guess.

Callender is best known for his monumental work, but his care for detail also brings him to works in which these details attract attention of the viewer and will make the viewer look further for details.

These details may be sculpted, drawn, painted or anything else, as long as they make the viewer wonder and associate.

Any intervention, any detail in a work adds to the meaning of the whole work, whether it is the surface of it, the colour or structure or any sign.

We talked things over with a cup of coffee until we both had to go our ways, back to the rumour of daily life again.

Next month Callender’s work can be seen at Omstand in Arnhem and later somewhere this year in Delft.  

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Yaïr Callender

Bertus Pieters

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Façades of The Hague #128

Block of family apartments, Escamplaan.

Built around 1980 the architecture shows a country – despite the then looming economic crisis – which is thought to be finished, with prosperity and welfare for everybody.

The houses look simple, practical, friendly and inexpensive. They don’t breathe much modernist ambition, as they didn’t need it anymore.

They were built as part of the rigorous expansion of The Hague toward the south.

© Villa Next Door 2021

All pictures were taken in March 2017.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #72 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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Art in corona times 59. Paul van der Eerden & Romy Muijrers, SUITE; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

As discussed in the last two postings about the present show at Nest (click here and here) co-operation between artists is a tendency of the last few years.

In the case of the prolonged exhibition SUITE at Galerie Maurits van de Laar it is a co-operation of two artists of different generations.

Paul van der Eerden (1954) and Romy Muijrers (1990) started their project in 2018.

Both are gifted draughtsmen, and having made drawings together for some years, now it is time to show the results to the public.

The procedure is quite simple: one starts a sketch and the other will work it out.

Through the years their drawings have developed as if they were made by one – albeit very versatile – artist.

Muijrers usually makes quite detailed drawings in which she sometimes seems to drown in a parallel world of remembrances, dreams and feelings.

Van der Eerden creates more robust shapes in which a life in modernist and postmodernist times can often be traced in a sometimes cartoonlike design.

The partnership is not based on competition or to make improvements and corrections in each other’s ideas.

The idea is to inspire each other and to make drawings that have a character of their own in spite of being created by two individuals.

They very much succeeded in doing so.

Both artists’ ideas and preoccupations breathe through the enormous amount of works shown in the gallery, but in the end it is like two pianists playing four-hands.

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Romy Muijrers, Paul van der Eerden and Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Art in corona times 58b. Mila Lanfermeijer, Ana Navas, Evelyn Taocheng Wang, III; Nest, The Hague

CONTINUATION OF THE PREVIOUS ARTICLE!

(Works by Mila Lanfermeijer, Ana Navas and Evelyn Taocheng Wang at Nest with architecture by Donna van Milligen Bielke )

Although the works are clearly made by three individual artists, they are presented as parts of a bigger philosophy.

There are no name tags in the exhibition and no titles, even in the accompanying booklet there are no references to individual works.

The visitor is welcomed in a vestibule via a stylish, formal entrance.

In the vestibule you can get acquainted with the styles of the three artists.

From the vestibule there are doorways with clear sightlines to some of the other rooms.

The architecture works very well. Made with a modest but elegant wooden framework the “villa” looks very open, with communicating rooms.

The dialogue of the works differs per room, just as rooms have different functions in a house.

As a whole the “villa” works as a body, or a spacious set of brains.

Although there are paintings, drawings, some ceramics and even a video, textiles have a prominent place.

There are different aspects like reflections on art history, the accumulation of ideas and drawings, the corporeality of language, the sensitivity of shapes etc.

Altogether it is a wonderful presentation of three very able artists in an environment that clearly invites the mind to wandering and gives a sense of safety to do so.

It’s all the more a shame that institutions like Nest are still not allowed to open, while commercial galleries are open to the public, albeit under strict conditions.

Platforms like Nest are just as able to take care of the safety restrictions as commercial galleries.

In the mean time i was happy to be invited by Nest to have a look and i hope that, as soon as the lockdown restrictions are lifted, you will be able to see this show, which has been constructed with so much care and enthusiasm and which – i must say – is very inspiring and sympathetic.

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Nest, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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